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Sounders FC Announces Technical Staff Updates Ahead of 2020 Campaign

February 26, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Seattle Sounders FC News Release

SEATTLE, WASH. - Sounders FC today announced updates to its technical staff ahead of the 2020 season, including the return of John Hutchinson - who served as S2 Assistant Coach in 2017 and S2 Head Coach in 2018 - in a newly created role as First Team Development Coach. Additionally, former head of Academy recruitment, Henry Brauner, returns as Director of Player Development, while the team has hired Jorge García Valera as Video Analyst and promoted Gary Lewis to Academy Director.

"We are very excited about the additions to our technical staff this offseason," said General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. "In addition to the success of the First Team operation, I'm very proud of what we've built over the past few years from a development standpoint. I look forward to seeing how this current group brings us forward in the years to come."

Hutchinson previously worked with the Rave Green through the 2017 and 2018 seasons, serving as Assistant Coach and Head Coach, respectively, of Sounders FC 2, now Tacoma Defiance. In those roles, Hutchinson worked extensively with young up-and-coming players, positioning him well for his new role as First Team Development Coach. The position is a newly created addition to Brian Schmetzer's staff that will focus on serving as an extra bridge of support for young First Team players, preparing them to take full advantage of opportunities when they see the field in game action.

Brauner is also a familiar face on the Sounders FC technical side, and he returns in 2020 as Director of Player Development. Brauner served as head of Sounders FC Academy recruitment in 2017 and 2018 before spending 2019 in U.S. Soccer's Talent Identification Department. He takes over the critical role of leading the club's player development program, from Sounders Academy up through Tacoma Defiance.

In new hires, the team welcomes García Valera as Video Analyst, a position in which he leads all video work with the First Team coaching staff. Garcia Valera hails from Valencia, Spain, and has previously held analyst positions with Leeds United, Atlético de Madrid C.F. and Levante U.D., among others. He is also a UEFA Pro licensed coach.

Lewis takes over as Academy Director, promoted from Sounders FC U-17 Coach. He began his career working with the youth academy at Liverpool FC, coaching the U-6 to U-9 groups before obtaining his UEFA A Coaching License and serving as Head Coach of the U-14 group on Merseyside. In 2005, Lewis was named Head Coach of Everton's U-13 group before moving back to Liverpool to work as head of the youth development program there, coaching ages 12 through 23 and working closely with many current professional players. In 2015, Lewis came to the United States as the National Director of Coaching for Football Club USA and after a short spell joined the Philadelphia Union's Academy program, serving four years as Head Coach of the U-14 and U-17 groups. He holds his USSF A License, UEFA A License and FA Academy Managers License.

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